By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE’S largest mobile network operator, Econet’s market share increased by 3.5% between the first and third quarter of 2019 after registering substantial growth in most areas of business, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) director general, Gift Machengete has revealed.
The POTRAZ boss made the remarks recently while presenting the Postal and Telecommunication Sector Performance Report (TSPR) for the third quarter of 2019.
The development comes at a time when the two main competitors, NetOne and Telecash’s market shares are declining.
“Econet`s market share has been continuously increasing over the year, starting with a market share of 78.8% in the first quarter, recording 80.1% in the second quarter and 82.3% in the third quarter,” he said.
The growth indicates a 3.5 % increase indicating the implementation of a clear vision and strategy.
Active mobile subscriptions for Econet increased 2.2 % from 8,5 million to 8,7 million, leaving the telecommunications giant enjoying 93% market share of active mobile money subscriptions.
The mobile money transfer platform, Ecocash processed 99.7% of the total value of transactions up from 99.6% recorded in the previous quarter.
In terms of market share of Equipped Used International Internet Bandwidth Capacity, Econet registered an increase from 70 % to 86 %.
The TSPR observes that there was a general decline in fixed internet and data subscriptions during the third quarter which is attributable to the general increase in tariffs for fixed data packages hence a number of households discontinued their monthly fibre subscriptions.
“Mobile data and internet usage increased 3.2%, however small, was an improvement from the 8.2% decline recorded in the second quarter of 2019.
“The popular social media sites in Zimbabwe, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter contributed 39.1% of total internet and data usage traffic,” the report said.
The total number of active mobile money subscriptions grew by 2.2% to reach 7,190,153 from 7,032,330 recorded in the second quarter of 2019 amid future uncertainties triggered by turbulent economic patterns.
Said Machengete, “The performance of the industry will depend on the general economic environment in the country which will impact the sector through service demand and consumption levels, operating costs and investment levels.”